Off Road Vehicles (ORV)

Registering an Off Road Vehicle (ORV)

Off road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are titled through the Secretary of State.  While a registration is not issued, ORVs and ATVs used on public land must display an annual ORV decal.  ORV decals can be purchased from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) E-Store.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issues ORV decals.

Replacing a Lost ORV Title

If your off road vehicle title is damaged or lost, a replacement may be ordered online through ExpressSOS or at a Secretary of State office. The title can only be issued to the owner listed on the document.

Selling an ORV

Michigan began titling ORVs in 1991.  For an older ORV not yet titled, a bill of sale with the year, make, vehicle identification number and the names and addresses of the buyer and seller may be used to transfer ownership.

Off-Road Vehicles Cannot Be Registered For On-Road Use

Vehicles manufactured as an off-road vehicle (ORV) cannot be modified and titled as an assembled vehicle for on-road use.  A vehicle manufactured as an ORV, even if the owner added accessories such as lights, windshield, and street legal tires, does not qualify as an assembled vehicle, including a low-speed assembled vehicle, because:

  • It was not built from new or used parts by someone other than a manufacturer, and
  • It was not altered or modified to the extent that it no longer reflects its original manufacturer configuration.

ORV manufacturers state their vehicles are not designed for on-road use and include a statement on their Manufacturer Certificate of Origin (MCO) that the vehicle was built for off-road use only. ORVs that cannot be titled and registered for on-road use as an assembled vehicle include:

a)  4-wheel and 6-wheel ORV utility vehicles.  These units look like small trucks with a roof.  Examples include the Polaris Ranger, John Deere Gator, Kawasaki Mule, Yamaha Viking, Honda Pioneer, and Kubota RTV.

b)  4-wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).  Often called "quads," these are units with handlebars and a seat straddled by the operator.

c)  Three and four-wheel ATVs often called "quads."

d)  Dune buggies manufactured for off-road use only.

e)  Gray Market off-road "mini trucks."  These are imported as ORVs rather than motor vehicles.  It is not possible to upgrade them to meet U.S. EPA emission standards and DOT safety standards.  They can only be titled as an ORV.  Examples include the Suzuki Carry, Subaru Sambar, Honda ACTY, Mazda Scrum, and Daihatsu Hijet.

Vehicles whose MCO show the vehicle was built to federal low speed vehicle standards may be titled as a low speed vehicle using the year, make, and VIN shown on the MCO.

Trail bikes (2-wheel motorcycles) may be upgraded for on-road use.

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